Bubble Watch: 'The Following' Premieres Well, But Remember "Alcatraz!" + 'Don't Trust the B----' & 'Ben and Kate' Now Canceled

Categories: Bubble Watch

Written By

January 27th, 2013

The Following premiered well with a 3.2 adults 18-49 rating. Bill notes that it would have to fall a long way (currently to below around a 1.7 adults 18-49 rating) to be at risk for cancellation.

Solid premieres are definitely much better than lousy premieres, but they still aren't very telling.  Remember, last January the two-hour premiere of Alcatraz averaged a 3.3 adults 18-49 rating. A little more than two months later its two-hour season finale averaged adults 18-49 ratings of 1.6 and 1.5 respectively and Alcatraz was canceled.

That does not mean that The Following will meet with the same fate as Alcatraz, it just means for now The Following is still on the bubble.

During the week Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23 was effectively canceled (protest the semantics as much as you like, even James Van Der Beek tweeted "Translation: we’ve basically been cancelled." Meanwhile Van Der Beek deserves some kind of TV by the Numbers award for being a realist and a class act with his tweets.



Ok, like many, he spelled Nielsen incorrectly, but otherwise that was pretty classy.

Ben and Kate was also effectively canceled by being pulled from the schedule and then just canceled outright. That means unless something moves down the list,  all of this season's "certain to be canceled" shows have now already been canceled.

When it comes to bubble status, like the Renew/Cancel Index we're focusing on the likelihood that a show will be renewed **for next season** (2013-14).  Certain shows are toss-ups where based on the ratings, the renewal decisions could go either way and not be surprising.

Here, “canceled” is used interchangeably with “won’t be renewed for next season” and is not meant to imply a show will be yanked off the schedule in the current season though obviously the two outcomes are not mutually exclusive. The semantics police and lawyers should feel free to break out the handcuffs and plead their cases in the comments. 

This Isn't The Renew/Cancel Index

Though the basic methodology is the same (intra-network relative ranking of shows by adults 18-49 ),unlike the Renew/Cancel Index which predicts what would happen if the season ended now, Bubble Watch prognosticates about what will happen by May. The two are still usually closely aligned, and almost certainly very closely aligned towards the end of the season.

Note: only scripted shows that have aired at least one episode this season are in the table below.

Show Network Status
666 Park Avenue ABC Canceled
Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 ABC Canceled
Last Resort ABC Canceled
Made in Jersey CBS Canceled
Partners CBS Canceled
Emily Owens, M.D. CW Canceled
Ben and Kate Fox Canceled
The Mob Doctor Fox Canceled
Animal Practice NBC Canceled
Happy Endings ABC Likely Cancellation
CSI: NY CBS Likely Cancellation
Vegas CBS Likely Cancellation
1600 Penn NBC Likely Cancellation
Deception NBC Likely Cancellation
Guys with Kids NBC Likely Cancellation
Up All Night NBC Likely Cancellation
Last Man Standing ABC On The Bubble
Malibu Country ABC On The Bubble
Cleveland Show, The Fox On The Bubble
Following, The Fox On The Bubble
The Good Wife CBS On The Bubble
The Mentalist CBS On The Bubble
90210 CW On The Bubble
Carrie Diaries, The CW On The Bubble
Hart of Dixie CW On The Bubble
Nikita CW On The Bubble
Beauty and the Beast CW On The Bubble
The Mindy Project Fox On The Bubble
New Normal, The NBC On The Bubble
Whitney NBC On The Bubble
Castle ABC Likely Renewal
Neighbors, The ABC Likely Renewal
Revenge ABC Likely Renewal
Suburgatory ABC Likely Renewal
The Middle ABC Likely Renewal
Elementary CBS Likely Renewal
Hawaii Five-0 CBS Likely Renewal
Chicago Fire NBC Likely Renewal
Go On NBC Likely Renewal
Law & Order: SVU NBC Likely Renewal
Parks & Recreation NBC Likely Renewal
Grey's Anatomy ABC Certain Renewal
Modern Family ABC Certain Renewal
Nashville ABC Certain Renewal
Once Upon a Time ABC Certain Renewal
Scandal ABC Certain Renewal
2 Broke Girls CBS Certain Renewal
Blue Bloods CBS Certain Renewal
Criminal Minds CBS Certain Renewal
CSI CBS Certain Renewal
How I Met Your Mother CBS Certain Renewal
Mike & Molly CBS Certain Renewal
NCIS CBS Certain Renewal
NCIS: Los Angeles CBS Certain Renewal
Person of Interest CBS Certain Renewal
Two and a Half Men CBS Certain Renewal
Arrow CW Certain Renewal
Supernatural CW Certain Renewal
The Vampire Diaries CW Certain Renewal
Glee Fox Certain Renewal
New Girl Fox Certain Renewal
Raising Hope Fox Certain Renewal
Grimm NBC Certain Renewal
Parenthood NBC Certain Renewal
Revolution NBC Certain Renewal
The Big Bang Theory CBS Renewed
American Dad Fox Renewed
Bob's Burgers Fox Renewed
Bones Fox Renewed
Family Guy Fox Renewed
The Simpsons Fox Renewed
Private Practice ABC Canceled/Final Season
Gossip Girl CW Final SeasonFinished
Fringe Fox Final SeasonFinished
30 Rock NBC Final Season
The Office NBC Final Season


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  • Kyle

    I think Nashville is certain cancellation and Deception is likely renewal.

  • Illinois

    I don’t understand why CSI: NY which is the highest rated Scripted drama on Friday is “Likely to be canceled”. It’s because of its age ? its production cost ?
    A 1.6 is not enough for Friday ? I meant it should be Renewed for a Final Season of 13-15 episodes. Look at Blue Bloods, the Show is on its 3rd Season and it can’t get more than a 1.6.
    With Live+3 CSI: NY got a 2.1 and 12.5 million viewers ! Just Renew it !

  • Ultima

    I don’t understand why CSI: NY which is the highest rated Scripted drama on Friday

    Because being the highest rated show for a particular night/timeslot is a meaningless measurement.

    CSI: NY has to be more profitable to CBS than the other dramas which they are considering cancelling (The Good Wife and The Mentalist). It’s basically impossible to determine that based solely on ratings because production/licensing costs and syndication revenue play a huge factor; also, if they cancel a Friday show, they’ll have to move another show there and factor those potential losses in.

    Blue Bloods is a certain renewal because it presumably has ~88 episodes worth of syndication revenue coming along with its next season.

  • Shepherd

    Since the bubble watch is supposed to take trends into consideration, I’d have Revenge on the bubble. Not because i don’t think it will be renewed, I do, but because I think it could go either way. I also think the Revolution will be renewed, but personally wouldn’t have the balls to list it as certain only because I’m waiting to see how it does when it returns. Of course, as you guys have pointed out repeatedly, the differences between certain and likely are minor.
    I’m not sure how long Nashville has been listed as certain, I don’t particularly follow the bubble, so I’m not sure if it has just been there for a while and you aren’t yet comfortable moving it down to likely, or whether you recently upgraded its prospects, so I can neither say that I agree or disagree with its listing as certain.

  • PhilipM

    @Illinois: 1) CSI: NY isn’t the highest-rated drama on Friday. That would be Grimm (1.68 vs. 1.42). 2) In fact, BB averages the exact same 1.42 among adults 18-49. That’s more impressive than CSI: NY’s average rating because of the 10:00 PM timeslot. Any 9:00 PM drama that doesn’t score better ratings than its 10:00 PM lead-out is at least in some sort of trouble.

  • badman

    how is revenge likely to be renewed, while nashville is certain to be renewed..?

    i don’t get this system..

  • James

    HIMYM should be on renewed

  • Mari

    I think The Middle and Nashville should change places.

  • joel

    And now life will imitate art when ABC announces James Van Der Beek as part of the spring cast of Dancing With The Stars.

  • rob60990

    Nashville is a certain renewal while The Middle is likely? Yeah ok.

  • Illinois

    I meant CSI: NY is the highest rated Friday drama on CBS.

  • Ultima

    HIMYM should be on renewed

    The cast/producers extended their contracts with FOX; CBS has yet to officially renew the show (although they certainly will).

  • PhilipM

    …and, again, it’s not even that. Both CSI: NY and BB average a 1.42 this season. Not to mention that being the highest-rated drama on Friday’s CBS schedule doesn’t mean much when there are only two dramas. ;-)

  • sara

    Hollywood is busy lecturing America about the evils of the NRA while pushing dramas like THE FOLLOWING which glorifies violence and gore. The hypocrisy is spectacular. I stopped watching half way through, asked myself why would I support this?

  • Ron

    Something is seriously wrong with you guys system,how is go on likely renewal while TNN is on the bubble?Go on should be on the bubble also scoring 1.3 on tuesday.I think i will stick with tvline because they are more accurate.

  • Ultima

    Go on should be on the bubble also scoring 1.3 on tuesday.

    So you think projections of what the networks will do in May should be based off the performance of only the previous episode at an arbitrary time during the season?

  • mando

    I don’t get why is Guys with Kid more likely to be cancelled than TNN?
    Guys with Kids has more viewers than TNN and has stead Demo!!

  • Rob R

    You guys need to flip-flop “The Middle” and “Nashville”.

  • omabin

    I agree, Guys with Kids should be a bubble show at this point. NBC’s comedies averages and weighted averages:
    – Go On: 2.3/1.7
    – Parks and Recreation: 1.7/1.7
    – Whitney: 1.4/1.5
    – The New Normal: 1.8/1.4
    – Guys with Kids: 1.5/1.4
    – 1600 Penn: 1.6/1.3

    It is way too early to tell, since guys with kids is currently tied with the new normal and new normal is having a downards trends whereas kids are relatively stable. Also, there is up all night, which at this point shouldn’t even be on the list IMO, because it is like a new show – I believe NBC will make its decision solely based on the ratings of the upcoming multi-cam version of the show.

  • Fake Me Out

    Too bad about Apt 23, I enjoyed it and especially Van Der Beek’s hilarious role as Van Der Beek (type casting?) was for me the best part. It wasn’t a surprise though when the ratings took a giant dive this year but I do hope the remaining eps get aired and/or released at some point.


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